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Around the state 3-9-18

 
 
 
Grand jury indicts man in Chicago police commander's death
CHICAGO (AP) — The suspect in the downtown shooting death of a Chicago police commander has been indicted on 56 counts, including first-degree murder.
The grand jury indictment announced on Friday says Cook County prosecutors plan to ask that Shomari Legghette be sentenced to life in prison if he's convicted because Cmdr. Paul Bauer was killed while performing his official duties. Legghette was also indicted on counts of armed violence and drug- and weapon-related violations.
Prosecutors say Bauer was downtown on Feb. 13 when he started chasing a man who had fled officers attempting to question him. They say that during a brief struggle, Legghette pulled out a gun and shot Bauer several times.
The 44-year-old Legghette is scheduled to return to court for arraignment on Monday.
 
Peoria man convicted of killing girlfriend's fetus
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Jurors in Peoria have convicted a 33-year-old man of intentionally causing the death of his girlfriend's fetus when he body slammed her.
The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that Dustin M. Amerman of Peoria was found guilty Wednesday on battery counts and of intentional homicide of an unborn child. That charge alleged Amerman acted in a way that caused a strong possibility of great bodily harm or death to the fetus.
According to testimony during this week's trial, Amerman and his girlfriend got into an argument in September 2017 that turned physical. Prosecutors, using an earlier statement from Amerman's girlfriend, argued that Amerman body slammed her, harming the fetus. Amerman and the girlfriend denied that on the stand.
Amerman is to be sentenced April 25.
 
East  St. Louis public housing resident sues over gun ban
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A woman who says she needs a gun to protect herself from an abusive ex-husband has filed a lawsuit that contends the firearms ban at the East St. Louis public housing complex where she lives is unconstitutional.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the woman — identified as N. Doe in the lawsuit — contends the ban deprives people who can't afford private housing the same right to bear arms that people who can afford private housing enjoy.
The lawsuit filed through the Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation says the local housing authority told the woman she doesn't need a gun because the Auburn Terrace Housing complex is safe and that unless she verifies she doesn't have a gun in the home her lease will be terminated.
 
Edwardsville mayor booted off state senate ballot again
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Edwardsville's mayor is again off the ballot for a seat in the Illinois Legislature.
Hal Patton last month successfully appealed to the state Supreme Court to get his name on the ballot for the 56th district's senate seat. On Friday, an appellate court again removed it.
Patton, a Republican, was tossed off the ballot in January for signing the re-election petitions of Democratic State Rep. Katie Stuart of Edwardsville. State law prohibits a person from running for the nomination of one party after signing the election petition of another party's candidate.
The Supreme Court granted a stay of the lower court's decision until the case was heard by the appellate court.
Patton said he will again appeal to the Supreme Court.
Patton's name could still appear on printed ballots. However, Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza has said votes for him won't count.
 
Suspects charged in Chicago fentanyl case linked to China
CHICAGO (AP) — Two suburban Chicago suspects have been charged in an alleged conspiracy involving the importation of a fentanyl analogue from China.
The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago says in a Thursday statement that 35-year-old Sanchez Lackland of Hazel Crest is accused of importing the substance last year through the mail to around 20 Chicago-area addresses.
The indictment says agents searched Lackland's home in December, seizing fentanyl analogue, a loaded revolver and some $300,000 in cash. It says authorities found similar substances in the Orland Park home of 35-year-old Jermol Mixon. Agents also allegedly found $10,000 in cash and items used to manufacture drugs.
Both men face drug and firearm charges. The statement didn't include names of defense attorneys. They'll have a chance to enter pleas at a March 14 arraignment.
 
Illinois teen faces felonies after school threats found
O'FALLON (AP) — A 15-year-old southern Illinois boy is in custody and faces felony charges after authorities say he made threats against an elementary school.
Officials say the teen wrote graffiti on J Emmett Hinchcliffe Sr. Elementary School in O'Fallon, including a threatening message and explicit and vulgar drawings. He is charged with making a terrorist threat, attempt of making a terrorist threat, disorderly conduct and criminal defacement of property.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly on Wednesday called it "a serious, serious threat." Police say the teen appeared in juvenile court and was sent to juvenile detention center. O'Fallon Police Chief Eric Van Hook said the teen "had no intention" of carrying out the threats.
School officials say the threats panicked the community and students were kept home from school.

Transgender inmate again sues Illinois corrections agency
CHICAGO (AP) — A transgender inmate who Illinois authorities agreed to move from one male prison after her claims of abuse says the mistreatment has continued at her new location in another male prison, causing her such despair that she's tried to kill herself.
The accusations come in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday for 27-year-old Deon Hampton against Illinois' Department of Corrections. Hampton, who goes by "Strawberry," is serving a 10-year burglary sentence.
She's seeking to become one of the state's first transgender women to be granted a transfer to an all-female prison. The IDOC couldn't immediately say if there's been a decision on the request and declined comment on the lawsuit.
Hampton was transferred to the Lawrence Correctional Center in January from the Menard prison under an agreement in a separate lawsuit.

Illinois hunters kill 318 bobcats during 2017-2018 season
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Approximately 318 bobcats were killed in Illinois during the hunting and trapping season that was in effect Nov. 10 through Feb. 15.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that 1,000 permits were issued to hunters and trappers for the season. Permit holders salvaged 40 road-kill bobcats during the season.
There were 500 permits given out during the 2016-2017 season, the first year of legal bobcat hunting. There were 141 bobcats killed during the 2016-2017 season.
State law prohibits the taking of bobcats in 33 Illinois counties, and in portions of three additional counties. The law allowed hunters and trappers to harvest up to 350 bobcats for the 2017-18 season.
The harvest limit will be 375 bobcats for the 2018-19 season, which is scheduled for Nov. 10, 2018 through Feb. 15, 2019. Permit applications will be accepted in September.
 
Miller Park Zoo in Illinois welcomes birth of 2 otter pups
BLOOMINGTON (AP) — Miller Park Zoo in Illinois is celebrating the birth of two male otter pups and will auction off the chance to name the newborns.
North American River Otters "Tallulah" and "Ozzie" welcomed their pups into the world on Feb. 12.
The newborns won't be on exhibit until sometime in late March as they still need to learn how to swim. But they can be seen through a video monitor in the zoo's veterinary hospital room.
The zoo in Bloomington will auction off the opportunity to name the pups in September.
Miller Park Zoo has seen otter pup litters in four out of the last five years. It's considered rare for North American River Otters to reproduce in captivity.

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